Lina and Doon are graduating from school. At twelve years of age, all graduates are given a work assignment for the city of Ember. Lina wants nothing more than to be a Messenger, to run free and explore the city. But Lina draws out a Pipeworks assignment. Doon draws the Messenger job and sulks. Lina can’t understand why anyone would be angry to be a Messenger.
After class, Doon asks Lina if she’d like to trade. Thrilled to get her wish after all, Lina accepts. As Lina and Doon start their new jobs, they both discover things are not well in Ember. Blackouts have been happening more frequently and for longer periods of time, and supplies are running very low. What will the citizens of Ember do if the lights go out for good? What will happen if they run out of supplies altogether? Many have walked into the unknown regions only to come back half-mad, swearing there it nothing out there. Lina stumbles onto a mysterious message that may hold the answer to these questions. But can she and Doon decipher it before it’s too late?
This book drew me in from page one. I love the world DuPrau created in Ember. Lina and Doon are both fun but naturally flawed characters who stumble along trying to find their way in their world. This book gives you a lot to think about as to where life comes from, although the author leaves the answer to that question open to the reader to decide. I found it brilliant how the people in Ember asked questions about their life, that they knew something was missing, that the darkness didn’t seem right, even though they knew nothing else. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I highly recommend this book for readers of all ages.
Age Range: 8 and up
Genre: Science Fiction
Part of a Series: book one in the Books of Ember series
Publisher: Yearling (a division of Random House)